daily recap · what we ate

Day 80: Steamed Crabs & Pizza

It seems wrong to eat crabs when the world is battling a pandemic and there are so many protests but we still have to eat! Matt picked up crabs at seafood market and we had them for lunch. It was supposed to be a dozen but they gave us 11 which was disappointing; they are so expensive. It was a beautiful day to be outside!

For dinner Matt made pizza with soppressata, mozzarella and capicola he bought at the Italian grocery. We already had ricotta, onions and kalamata olives from Aldi.

Non-food related activities:

We watched Blood & Sand (the first episode or two) and Uncorked on Netflix.

daily recap · what we ate

Day 79: Mortadella & Lamb Chops

It was a beautiful day out today! Our service berry tree is fruiting. The birds love it so much I never get to harvest more than a few berries each year.

For lunch we had mortadella sandwiches and chips. It was so good to have mortadella again!

For dinner Matt made lamb chops with spinach wild rice pilaf. We also had leftover birthday cake.

Non-food related activities:

We played Quiddler outside which was great! Really perfect weather.

I read another Kate White mystery in my hammock.

I followed all of the protests going on right now. Not much seemed to have happened here in Baltimore but then I just saw some footage of cops in riot gear downtown. What a ridiculous escalation! I am worn out.

daily recap · what we ate

Day 78: Birthday Cake & Steak

Today’s Matt’s birthday! He went to our local Italian grocery for the first time since early March and apparently they made it safer for the staff and customers to shop. He bought all the Italian ingredients we’ve been missing and a couple of sandwiches. Our first food made from someone else in over 78 days! We’ve been avoiding takeout but this is a grocery store and we spent an obscene amount of money on various ingredients. Is it take out or is it just groceries?

The sandwiches did seem really big. They were how I remembered them but we’ve been eating smaller portions and being more mindful of wanting leftovers and stretching food to avoid shopping that it really seemed decadent.

We had debated about getting raw meat from Fogo de Chão but I found strip steaks and lamb chops at Aldi so we didn’t. Matt ended up making a steak (it was massive so we split it), kale and rice and beans (both with some really good kielbasa I also found at Aldi that came in a thick chunk) and pão de queijo in mini muffin tins (using Mexican queso fresco since we can’t really get the right Brazilian cheese here).

I forgot to put the sugar in the cake I made last night so I made that again this morning and iced it with coconut cream cheese frosting. I shouldn’t try to bake at like 11 pm!

Non-food related activities:

We watched The Lovebirds and The Half of It on Netflix. Both were cute. We always like Michael Showalter movies. THOI had an odd brief religious subplot in it that seemed out of place.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 77: Seafood Orzo & Deviled Ham

For lunch today I went from having no idea what we were having to making this seafood orzo dish in like 10 minutes. I had read how frozen mixed seafood is super gross but it really turned out great! If you click on the recipe link, I talk about what went into making it; it’s very pandemic-friendly!

For dinner I made a version of these deviled ham toasties but I heated some oil/butter in a pan and placed slices of take and bake Italian bread leftover from lunch on it and topped it with the deviled ham and cheddar for sort of a open-faced grilled cheese/toast type thing. It was really good! I might have liked it even more than I did with English muffins.

After dinner (it’s baking right now, actually) I made a small cake for Matt’s birthday tomorrow so I won’t have to wait for it to cool to frost it tomorrow. We’ve planned a lot of food and cooking tomorrow so this will be one less thing to worry about. I made this cake but used all regular sugar instead of brown because I’m going to ice it and brown sugar gives it a stickier top.

Non-food related activities:

I worked on Coconut & Lime a lot.

I listened to more of In the Dark about the coronavirus.

We watched more of season 3 of The Good Fight so Matt can catch up and we cancel the service. I watched the season 4 finale in the morning. I heard Cush Jumbo might be living the show. I can see it but I’ll miss her! I’m sure there were supposed to be more episodes than seven so I wonder how they will deal with it.

daily recap · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 76: Grocery Shopping, Chicken-Arugula Salad & Crescent Dogs

Today was my big trip to the store! I last went on April 29th so it’s been nearly a full month. We do get the same produce delivery every Tuesday (and it’s finally starting to be more than just potatoes and lettuce!), Matt did a quick shop for rolls, hot dogs, sherbet, a chicken and mayo (lol) mid-month but I’m still doing the majority of our shopping in person, at Aldi every 3-4 weeks, with my goal being as close to 4 weeks as possible. I honestly probably could have made it a little longer but Matt’s birthday is Friday and he’s taking a long weekend so we have time to make whatever. Aldi sales start on Wednesdays and I really like to get there on that morning if at all possible. The store is fully stocked with any sale items and I’ve had great luck with expiration dates. This time I didn’t end up with any meat with an expiration date closer than 6/5/20. This time part of their (already small) meat case was blocked off and they had different things than they had last time. Chicken thighs instead of breasts, stew meat was back, and some fancier cuts. Still no leaner ground beef and ground chicken was gone. Lamb chops were on sale this week so I got some of them and some strip steaks. We had thought of getting a raw meat order from Fogo de Chão for his birthday but those were two of the things we wanted so I think we will just stick what we got. Aldi was pretty well-stocked in general though. I don’t mind being flexible and I’ve been freezing meat here and there so we are in good shape variety-wise. There was no line today and the store was pretty empty. They still have the best safety procedures around. Hogan is trash and is letting every county do whatever they want so I still don’t want to go out unless we have to.

Matt will probably go to Giant or Weis to get sliced bread and anything else we realize we need that Aldi doesn’t sell on Friday and then go to Mastellone’s (local Italian market) for sandwich stuff, Parmesan and pizza toppings for his birthday lunch/weekend pizza making.

Grocery shopping is exhausting and Aldi is about 15 minutes away so it can be a long trip if there is a long line. This time though I left a not long after 9 and was back home, fully unpacked and showered by 11. Last night I made chicken salad with a huge amount of finely chopped arugula, red onion, lemon pepper and dill relish so all I had to do was put in on the last of our sliced bread and lunch was ready.

I had been thinking of crescent dogs awhile back. I don’t think I’ve had them since the ’80s but Aldi had crescent dough for 89 cents so why not? I had trouble getting the tube open (I am a failure at “convenience” foods, my Jell-O often doesn’t even set) but I managed to wrap up the leftover Berk’s hot dogs and some shredded sharp cheddar and sprinkle them with Everything seasoning from Costco. Matt made a big salad with the last of the blue cheese crumbles, some yellow cherry tomatoes from Aldi (called comets, they are the ones that were still perfect after like 10 days), red onion, beets from last week’s produce box we had pre-boiled (my trick for getting beets to last, roast or boil them and store them in the fridge, they last longer that way if they already have had their greens removed) and lettuce from this week’s box. I think I am good for crescent dogs for another 30 years.

We had some beet leftover so I made it into a quick refrigerator pickle with red onion, white cardamon pod, salt, a bay leaf, white vinegar and some fennel seed.

Non-food related activities:

Listened to more In the Dark while driving to the store, I’m starting their coronavirus episodes now.

Watched Emma. (very cute, loved the music and it was so much like Clueless which, of course, was also based on Emma) and tried to watch Uncut Gems which was so boring. Also tried Columbus which was very slow and oddly quiet. I could barely hear anyone speak. Who knew Columbus, Indiana had such beautiful architecture though?

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 75: Put an Egg On It & Muffins (again)

For lunch I heated up some leftover chicken and wild rice pilaf, tossed in some feta and topped it with a fried egg.

After lunch I made more muffins for Matt’s breakfasts (carrot-walnut-ginger-yogurt) using up the last of the yogurt and some sad looking carrots. I also made chicken salad with the last of the feta, arugula from our produce delivery today, red onion and lemon pepper for tomorrow’s post-grocery store lunch.

Matt made fish stick sandwiches (to finish up the fish sticks and the last of the bread) and red mustard greens, Vidalia onions and potatoes from our produce delivery for dinner.

Our fridge is so empty! The emptiest its been in many, many months. We have a lot of shredded cheddar and butter I haven’t opened and we have some greens from today’s produce delivery but we are really low on pretty much everything else.

We are thinking about getting steamed crabs or raw meat from Fogo de Chão to grill for Matt’s birthday this weekend. Possibly both if it’s good weather! I’ll make the side dishes though.

Non-food related activities:

We finished A Discovery of Witches and I watched Liar on Sundance Now while we still have it.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 74: Soup and Spatchcocked Chicken

For lunch we had (canned) soup and the tiny bit of tuna we had leftover. Matt made us breakfast sandwiches with the last of the bacon and the English muffins.

For dinner Matt made kale with wild rice pilaf and grilled a spatchcocked chicken slathered in spices and lemon.

We have a ton of chicken leftover. My goal was to have at least enough left that we could have some tomorrow for lunch after I come back from Aldi.

It’s been nearly a month since our last big grocery shop! We did get a small delivery with some basics like rice and Matt did a small shop at Weis for hot dogs, rolls, soda and condiments mid month. I think we could probably go another week without another big grocery visit but Matt’s birthday is Friday and I want to get some food for that and we are out of potatoes. He’s still taking Friday and Monday off so we will have time to make something fun if we wanted to.

We are still getting most of our food in person but our grocery stores are limited here in the city and we haven’t been to our local small grocery stores where we’d get things like rice in months.

I feel like we are spending less money on groceries but we didn’t track it too closely before. At any rate we aren’t spending anything on takeout or going out to eat. We normally got takeout for dinner at least once a week and lunch out or takeout on Saturdays and Sundays and often out to dinner too.

We are debating where Matt should go to shop on Wednesday to fill in for my Aldi shop. Our produce delivery fills in a lot of gaps but since we like a lot of variety it’s hard to just shop at Aldi and get produce delivery. Aldi is great but unless they are having a specific sale, we mostly get the basics there and go to smaller speciality shops for everything else.

Non-food related activity:

We watched more of A Discovery of Witches.

I had a horrible migraine after dinner and went to bed early.

daily recap · what we ate

Day 73: Tuna Melts & Cookies

We made tuna melts with gruyere and marble rye for lunch.

For dinner I roasted yellow squash, mushrooms and red onions and heated up the leftover cod gratin.

Matt made cookies with leftover dark chocolate and salted caramel chips.

Non-food related activities:

Matt mowed the lawn.

We finished Rosehaven and started A Discovery of Witches. The Sundance app is horrible so I already canceled it.

daily recap · what we ate

Day 72: Rueben Dogs & Pierogi

We had hot dogs with some fancy Bavarian style sauerkraut and gruyere and tots for lunch.

For dinner we had frozen pierogi sautéd with leftover “coleslaw” mix shredded cabbage/carrots and onions.

Non-food related activities:

We watched more Rosehaven on the Sundance app (free trial) and it’s a awful app! We keep getting a pop up saying we don’t have an internet connection and the show can’t be played while the show is playing behind it.

daily recap · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 71: Cod Gratin, Noodles with Chicken and Veggies

I finally made the cod and potato gratin I’ve been wanting to make since I heard of it when we saw Come From Away last year. We had some cod in the freezer that was all slightly odd shapes so it was a good use of it since you flake the cod for the recipe. I used up the last of the 10 lb bag of Russets I bought back in the end of April and some parsley and spring onion from this week’s produce box. It is so cold and chilly here today that making a casserole at noon didn’t seem strange. I really do love making the biggest meal of the day at lunchtime. It makes the whole rest of the day so much more relaxing.

For dinner, I sauteed up the leftover chicken and cabbage from earlier in the week and the little bit of bok choy from last night and tossed it with some Indomie Mi Goreng. Those noodles have been the real MVP of pandemic cooking. They cook in 3 minutes and are good with pretty much any leftovers you can toss in. I think they are a little small to be the main meal of the day unless you add a ton but they are perfect for a light dinner or lunch.

Non-food related activities:

I’ve been working my way through the In the Dark podcast about Curtis Flowers. What a case! I’m amazed at the reporting and legwork these women did.

I finished This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World — and Me by Marisa Meltzer and wrote a quick review.